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Bud Cort Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (19) | Personal Quotes (20)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 29 March 1948New Rochelle, New York, USA
Birth NameWalter Edward Cox
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Bud Cort, American actor/comedian, was born Walter Edward Cox in New Rochelle, New York. The second of five children, he grew up in Rye, New York, the son of Joseph P. Cox, an orchestra leader, pianist, and owner of a successful men's clothing store in Rye, and Alma M. Court a former newspaper and Life magazine reporter and an executive asst. at M.G.M. in New York City. From early childhood on, Bud displayed a remarkable acting ability and appeared in countless school plays and community theatre. Also a talented painter, he earned extra money doing portraits at art fairs and by commission to the people in Rye. However, he knew acting was his real dream and began riding trains into New York City at the age of 14 to begin studying with his first teacher Bill Hickey at the HB Studios in Greenwich Village.

Upon graduation from Iona Prep School run by the Christian Brothers of Ireland, Bud applied to the NYU School of the Arts, now known as Tisch. Unfortunately, the acting department was full but after seeing Bud's art portfolio he was admitted as a scenic design major in 1967. Bud continued to study with Bill Hickey and secretly began to work in commercials, - off Broadway Theater, and the soap opera, "The Doctors."

He formed a comedy team with actress Jeannie Berlin, and later with Judy Engles, performing Bud's original comedy material all over Manhattan's burgeoning nightclub scene. Bud and Judy won first place during amateur night at the famed Village Gate and were signed to a management contract with the club's owner. Soon after, while appearing at the famed Upstairs at the Downstairs in the musical revue "Free Fall," Bud was spotted by Robert Altman who was in New York looking for actors for his film "M. A. S. H." Bud was hired and from that went on to play the title role in Altman's next film "Brewster McCloud."

A quirky May-Dec. love story, "Harold and Maude," next saw Cort opposite Ruth Gordon in arguably his most famous role. After a confused reception, the film went on to become not only one of the most successful cult movies in history, but eventually was crowned an American Film Classic. Bud was also awarded the French equivalent of the Oscar, the Crystal Star, for Best Actor of the Year. He was also nominated for a Golden Globe and a British Academy Award.

Resisting type casting, Bud turned down the role of Billy Bibbit in Milos Forman's "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest" and returned to the theater. He made his Broadway debut opposite Donald Pleasance in Simon Gray's "Wise Child" at the Helen Hayes Theatre in 1971. Again he resisted being type cast by Hollywood and finally made his first film five years after "Harold and Maude," in the political thriller "Darkness of the Brain" or "Flash" opposite Marcel Bozzuffi (The Conformist).

Title roles in "Why Shoot the Teacher?" (one of the most successful films in Canadian history), "The Secret Diary of Sigmund Freud," (a comedy with Klaus Kinski and Carol Kane), and "She Dances Alone" (a documentary/fantasy about the real life daughter of Vaslav Nijinski, with Max Von Sydow) followed and led to countless more films. His latest films being the Wes Anderson comedy "The Life Aquatic" (with Bill Murray and Cate Blanchett) as well as "The Number 23" (with Jim Carrey). Besides his film and theater work, Bud has sung all over the world from Carnegie Hall in New York, to the Alcazar in Paris. He was the youngest actor ever given an homage at the Cinematheque in Paris in an evening hosted by the great comedic actor, Jacques Tati.

Bud lived as a house guest for many years with his dear friend Groucho Marx. In 1979 Bud survived a near fatal car crash on the Hollywood Freeway. He continued working in film and theater and co-founded the LA Classic Theatre Works with, among others, Richard Dreyfuss and Rene Auberjonois. Bud performed the entire J. D. Salinger novel "The Catcher in the Rye" live in-studio, as well as the one man show, "An Evening with Truman Capote" for the radio station KCRW. He appeared with Tom Waits in the L.A. Premiere of Thomas Babe's "Demon Wine" and was nominated for the LA Theatre Critics Best Actor award for his performance in Samuel Beckett's "ENDGAME," which he first played in New York at the Cherry Lane Theatre. For his performance as Clov, Bud was awarded the Dramalogue Award as Best Actor.

Recent films include Kevin Smith's "Dogma", Ed Harris' "Pollock", and his own controversial film, "Ted and Venus" (Col. Tri Star Home Video) which Bud directed, co-wrote, and starred in with Woody Harrelson and Gena Rowlands and which initially, like "Harold and Maude" disturbed some critics and yet was hailed as a "tiny masterpiece," and "a courageous film, Bud Cort's finest performance."

Bud is a member of the Director's Unit of the Actor's Studio. Besides Bill Hickey, he has studied extensively with Stella Adler, Joan Darling, David Craig, and Del Close of 2nd City. Bud recently starred in televisions "Arrested Development," "Funny or Die Presents", the highly regarded "Mosley Lane" episode of "Criminal Minds and Chris Elliot's "Eagleheart" ("Exit Wound the Gift Shop).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Trade Mark (2)

Soft-spoken voice
Chameleon-like ability to inhabit his characters in a completely brilliant and inimitable way.

Trivia (19)

He is a founding member of the L.A. Classical Theatre.
In 1979, he was nearly killed in a car accident where he suffered a fractured skull, severe facial lacerations, the loss of several teeth and a broken arm and leg. He survived, but due to the medical necessities of his accident, he endured years of plastic surgery and physical therapy, lost the court case for the accident and saw his blooming career slip away from him.
Proposed (twice) to actress Patti D'Arbanville.
Was a close friend of Orson Welles and Ruth Gordon, and is very good friends with Sally Kellerman.
When asked who he wanted to play Maude in Harold and Maude (1971), he suggested Greta Garbo.
Changed his name from Walter Edward Cox to Bud Cort when he realized he could not share his name with well-known character actor Wally Cox. He chose "Bud," as it was a nickname he'd been called, and "Cort" derived from his mother's maiden name, being Court, and the Cort Theatre in New York City.
In the 1980s, he owned a Boston Terrier named Lillian.
Product of a strict Catholic upbringing and education he spent nine years with the Sisters of Charity, and four years with the Christian Brothers of Ireland.
Used to live on 12th Street and Second Avenue in New York City.
Used to have a band who called themselves "Bud Cort and the Medflies." They occasionally performed at a "night spot" on the Sunset Strip in L.A. and at The Roxy Theatre.
For eight months was a member of the psychedelic, 1960s spiritual group "The Source" and worked at a health food store.
As a child, Bud visited his great-grandmother every summer in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
For a time, Judy Engles performed stand-up comedy with Bud Cort at the "Upstairs At The Downstairs" theatre, where director Robert Altman supposedly discovered him.
Legend has it that his mother, Alma Mary Cox, turned down a marriage proposal from Clark Gable.
Resides in a home built in the 1920s, composed of parts from a ship, and formerly owned by Jack London.
First used the name "Bud Cort" when applying for an Equity card.
Had three great-grandfathers, all of whom were fishermen and lost at sea.
As a cabaret singer, Bud has performed all over the world. People still talk about his opening night at the Roxy Nite Club on Sunset Blvd where he performed with three back up singers called "The Medflies" in front of a packed house including Mick Jagger, Marisa Berenson, Richard Gere, and other Hollywood royalty.
He has played the same character (Winslow P. Schott, Jr. / Toyman) in three different series: Superman (1996), Static Shock (2000) and Justice League (2001).

Personal Quotes (20)

You're never fully dressed without a smile.
Ever since Harold and Maude (1971), people have generally regarded me as an arbiter of weirdness. So, I'll tell you what I find weird: I find malice, violence and poverty weird. But, more than that, I find Hollywood package deals weird. Agents are always sending me scripts and then reneging, telling me that I'm not Robert De Niro.
I was walking with Ruth Gordon to the set and I saw this dead squirrel. I said "Look at that!" so she turns around and goes "Yech, why did you want to show me that?" I said, "I don't know".
Santa Claus was one of my first heroes, no doubt about it.
(Describing Groucho Marx) He was definitely one of my heroes. He inspired me so, still does. He gave me a lot of love, something I'll cherish forever. He also gave me his tooth, but that's another story.
(Describing Barbra Streisand) She was nineteen-years-old and had these black Martian eyes. She sang like a bird and I thought she was the most gorgeous thing I'd ever seen.
Acting was a safe haven from the Sturm and drang at home. Theatre let me escape.
(Describing Harold and Maude (1971)) It was a genius script, written by Colin Higgins. Nothing was filmed that was not in that script. I knew immediately upon reading it that it would be a classic.
(Describing why he feels Harold and Maude (1971) is a success) I think because it is totally timeless, reveals so much mystery and truth about the big questions of life, and contains two inimitable performances, if I do say so myself. (Though many have tried).
I lived in a tepee in the living room, which already had a cathedral ceiling being English Tudor. I dreampt a lot. I drew. I was a bit of a child prodigy and would be taken to fairs, set up my easel and do 100 portraits. Later I took commissions from the Rye Art Store and made good money until I started to feel like a plastic surgeon with all the babes requests to remove age lines. I went to NYU and was supposed to be a scenic designer but I kept sneaking into acting classes. I was studying with the great Bill Hickey in my off time, playing a delivery boy on a soap opera and doing off-off Broadway. I had to make a choice. I chose acting.
I had no choice. I *had* to act. I could memorize anything plus I only felt comfortable and safe on stage. And this was from nursery school to kindergarten and onward and continues up to this day. I played Darcy in "Pride and Prejudice" in the third grade!
I loved Robert Altman. Even though we only made MASH (1970) and Brewster McCloud (1970), he offered me McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) and I had to turn it down to do Harold and Maude (1971). But I never got over working under his supreme command and imagination. I adored Hal Ashby - he let me go to the limit and beyond and was always there to catch me. Robert Dornhelm is a fantastic director. I recently did an uncredited role for Joel Schumacher in The Number 23 (2007) with Jim Carrey. I was fascinated by Joel's kindness and relaxation on the set and yet his eye was constantly focused like an eagle. Wes Anderson is a trip. He is his own planet, a real artist; I just think he has so much greatness to give. His potential is enormous and gleaming, just like his fabulous New York loft.
Age is like a coat that you can put on or take off. I prefer to not have that coat on.
(Describing the first time he met Groucho Marx) I had just gotten off the plane from New York City, and I had hair down to my shoulders and a beard. I took a cab up to his house in Bel-Air, and the minute my fist connected with the door, the door opened, and there stood Groucho. He looked at me, his mouth flew open, he gasped and he slammed the door in my face. [Another guest, who knew Bud, opened the door and brought Bud in to introduce him to Groucho]. Groucho said, "I'm sorry. I thought you were Charles Manson".
I don't want no retro spective.
I was taken to county fairs and painted thousands of portraits every day. But it became too mechanical -- I knew I had to express myself more. I dreamed of being an actor but never thought I could be one.
It's funny...God makes us mad if we work and go mad if we don't.
Artists pray for inspiration and when it comes, you can't divulge it or express it without someone thinking you're crazy!
(On the death of Robert Altman) Bob was, in essence, a master painter and the depth and breadth of his art changed the face of film forever. His wildest talent was that he could look at you and see immediately what you were trying to hide.
(On Harold and Maude (1971)) And we shot every single word that was in that script. There was no improvisation. ... But to sell it, I had to really live it. There were moments that were hard, but Hal Ashby was such a loving director.

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